From Program Assistant, to Program Lead, to Marketing Coordinator. Ayesha reflects on her journey through her time at Junior Achievement of South Florida:
The Journey Begins
In August of 2018, I was hired as a Program Assistant for Junior Achievement of South Florida’s JA BizTown program. I never imagined myself working with students, yet alone 5th graders! It was amazing seeing them grasp the concepts of financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness at such a young age. I developed many skills including leadership, understanding, patience, stress and time management. I was deeply moved by the impact JA had on these students and pleasantly surprised when I found out that there were programs for students in middle and high school.
If you’ve ever had the joy of volunteering at JA BizTown, you know that it is a fast-paced working environment. I had to be ready for things you cannot plan for and be able to think quickly on my feet. While this made day-to-day tasks stressful, it was never a boring day and helped build my character. Of course, I had the help of some amazing volunteers who communicated to students their roles as consumers, business leaders and employees.
The Next Step
After my first year, I quickly moved up to become a Program Lead, began learning the volunteer orientation, helped prepare JA BizTown curriculum and began to train some of the newly hired Program Assistants. These tasks gave me a better understanding and different perspective of the program. Of course, I wanted to make the most out of my experience, so I offered to work JA events like JA World Uncorked, Rose Soiree and JA Business Hall of Fame!
I even became involved with the Empowerment Committee, where I served as the committee chair for two years. I discovered a new passion for party planning and decorating! The committee coordinated staff massages, yoga, and our annual JA Olympics. I loved seeing how small, simple gestures, could bring such huge smile on the faces of my fellow co-workers.
COVID-19 Set Back
Once COVID-19 hit, my job was on hold due to the fact that students could not visit JA World. I was then offered the position as Marketing Coordinator, a position I had my eye on since I started working at Junior Achievement. I had so much fun working and supporting the team, especially during events. It’s always great seeing everyone come together to pitch in and make the mission come alive.
During this role, I learned much about creating video content, podcasting, social media strategies, email marketing and website maintenance on WordPress. I enjoyed bragging about the JA impact to stakeholders and connecting with them on LinkedIn! I learned so much and was inspired to start my very own company, Teany Weeny. Although COVID-19 initially set back my career journey, it also brought up new opportunities.
The End of One Journey
As my time at Junior Achievement of South Florida comes to an end, it allows me time to reflect on my experience and prepare for the next journey. As I look back, all I could say is that I am thankful for the skills I’ve learned, the opportunities, and the ever-lasting friends I made.